'Desperate Housewives' producer has ABC singing 'Hallelujah'

Small town Tennessee is a long way from the fictional Stepford-esque world of Desperate Housewives, but if ABC has its way, mainstream viewers will soon be singing its praises. Creator, writer and executive producer for the popular prime-time soap show, Marc Cherry, is attached to the network's next project, Hallelujah.

The show will center around the small Tennessee town of the same name. According to TV Guide, the story revolves around forces of good and evil at work in Hallelujah, and the mysterious stranger who comes to town bringing justice, peace and faith.

Marc Cherry will write and executive produce alongside fellow Housewives veteran Sabrina Wind. His other credits include The Golden Girls. Cherry and his production studio currently have an undeniable hit under their belt, but there have been some flops, too: Golden Girls spinoff The Golden Palace and CBS project The 5 Mrs. Buchanans both fizzled after a single season.

Desperate Housewives started big in 2004 and has continued strong ever since. Currently in its 7th season, the series is popular world-wide and has won six Emmy awards and four Golden Globes along with dozens of nominations. Essentially a prime-time soap opera, Housewives keeps audiences interested with bedroom romantic intrigue and snappy comedic writing.

If the synopsis for Hallelujah is accurate, it's unlikely that the show will replicate Desperate Housewives' white collar dramedy or suggestive themes. The show might be anything from a "clean up this town" drama a la Justified, or a more family-focused serial like 7th Heaven. The latter would place it in a fairly unique spot among network television, giving welcome relief to more conservative viewers tired of endless police procedural and reality TV. It would also probably catch a fair share of Housewives' overwhelmingly female viewership. But feel-good television doesn't pay for advertising: expect Hallelujah to fall somewhere between Wisteria Lane and Mayberry.

There are no casting or production announcements beyond Cherry and Wind, and no timetable is available yet. But if the pedigree is any indication, ABC will be fast-tracking Hallelujah and putting plenty of production and promotion dollars behind it. Expect a pilot sometime in 2012.

Source: TV Guide

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